G-Money on Dealing Nugent-Hopkins

***Yesterday we posted an article speaking to the disappointing seasons that Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jesse Puljujarvi were having and I asked the boys for their thoughts on what we should do with the Nuge. You can read that article HERE.

I did the same on Twitter with this poll and I’m not surprised with the results. It’s not like my followers are wrong ūüôā

It’s funny, each time I’ve decided to post an article detailing how unimpressed I am with a specific player, they decide to go ahead in the following game and put up some points… Maybe I should do it more often.

Now, as I mentioned in the article yesterday, G-Money’s (@oilersnerdalert) excerpt was lifted from a longer reply to my question and now I’d like to share G-Money’s full reply with you. Bon Appetit! – BLH***

Q: What’s wrong with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and Should the Oilers Trade Him?

A: a. Nothing other than a run of bad luck, and b. God no!

On point a, one of my lenses for looking at a player is “WoodMoney“, the matchup-based quality of competition¬†methodology that @Woodguy55 and I put together. Here’s a look at how much time Nuge is spending facing¬†the various levels of competition, and how he is doing so far this year as compared to the other two main¬†centres (I’ve included both Corsi and DangerFen for the Elite tier, but only CF% vs the others so as not to turn an¬†intimidating table of numbers into an overwhelming one ):


% TOI vs Elite – 41%
CF% Р 45.9%
DFF%  Р44.9%
% TOI vs Middle – 39%
CF% – 53.9%
% TOI vs Gritensity – 20%
CF% – 59.7%


% TOI vs Elite – 32%
CF% – 53.4%
DFF% – 56.0%
% TOI vs Middle – 46%
CF% – 55.1%
% TOI vs Gritensity – 22%
CF% – 56.8%


% TOI vs Elite – 27%
CF% – 49.5%
DFF% – 48.0%
% TOI vs Middle – 49%
CF% – 50.0%
% TOI vs Gritensity – 24%
CF% – 55.0%


On point a:

1. McDavid is stupid good. He destroys everyone.

2. Nuge is being used by TMc as the shutdown power vs power centre this year. Not McDavid. Not Draisaitl.¬†Nuge is the guy spending 41% of his time against the best players in the NHL. That’s creating a ton of clear air¬†for McDavid and Draisaitl. If you’re comparing things like points, you better take that into account. Nuge’s¬†points are being sacrificed to give the other two a chance to score more.

3. When Nuge is up against those great players, it’s true he’s struggling to keep his head above water. ¬†Moreso¬†than in years past. ¬†And he’s not the only one. My suggestion: give him Eberle and Pouliot on an ongoing basis.¬†Let those two (who are both struggling) right their ships. Nuge’s ship will get fixed right along with them.

4. When Nuge is not against those great players, against pretty much every one else, he runs roughshod.  The Nuge is Yuuuuuuuge!

5. So there is nothing wrong with Nuge, except:

On point b:

Nuge is shooting at 5.1% this season. He has a career average of 11.2% prior to this season. So he’s shooting at¬†less than half of his career average.

He’ll find his groove again, guaranteed.

Every player’s sh% varies wildly above and below their long-term average. And it’s more or less random (if a¬†player could control it, they’d always shoot above their average, which would raise their average, which means¬†they’d shoot at random above and below that average, which…)

That’s just how it goes. Sh% controls you, you don’t control sh%.

Now as for trading Nuge … well, my thought process is always that whether it makes sense to trade a player is based entirely on the return.¬† Anyone is on the block if what you’re getting back is good enough.

But you know what would be stupid though? Trading a player at what would in effect be the maximum possible discount because of one of those sh% lows.

***With G-Money’s balanced¬†analysis and down-to-Earth reasoning, it’s hard, for me at least, to want to move Nuge ASAP because I’m curious as hell as to what the Oilers might look like if they have all three of McDavid, Draisaitl, and RNH humming along on the offense.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments below!***

Grab a Nugent-Hopkins 16-Bit Superstar shirt by clicking on the pic above!!

Beer League Hero Written by:

I'm the Beer League Hero! I am from Camrose, Alberta but I make my home in Taipei City, Taiwan. I've been through the ups and downs and the highs and the Lowes, the Bonsignores and the McDavids, the Sathers and the Eakins but I'll never leave my Oilers, no matter what! They're with me until the end and then some. GO OILERS GO!

  • Marc Porter

    Nuge is a big part of the Oilers success simply because of his 2 way playing, he is a great back checker and a large part of the defensive side of the game. He is never mentioned during the games or in the media which to me tells me he is a quiet efficient machine that does what needs to be done. I’m not worried about his output as he is adjusting to his role and accepting that points are not always whats needed to be successful. He will be a very integral part of this team moving forward simply because he is a great shut down center.

  • cinnamus

    Please lets not consider sending him off for ten cents on the dollar. Instead i would suggest 2 adds and a roster move to come closer to balance. A top 9 winger and right shot dman as well as a promotion from Bakersfield would be nice. Iginla and Franson would add great veteran depth on expiring contracts. Then move LB up.

  • RobbiesDad

    There is the real possibility that McDavid’s next contract will force Nuge off of the team, but the Oilers should not give up their depth at centre until that becomes an issue.

  • Will

    Send Puljujarvi down, keep Lucic, Draisait, McDavid together. Put Pouliot, Nuge, and Eberle together and send em out against the toughs. Bring back the third line of Pitlick, Caguilia, and Shlep and give them very limited minutes. Finally reunite the best fourth line ever assembled in Maroon, Letestu, and Kassian and let them off the leash. If Nuge is struggling, feed the toughs to Letestu and let the Nuge line breath a little. I would trade Eberle long before I ever trade Nuge. Depth at centre is crucial in today’s NHL. Leon is not ready for the role. Or, you can give Nuge Draisaitl and keep Eberle scoring up with McDavid. Raise his value for the trade, hopefully Puljujarvi ready for the role when Eberle is traded.

  • GCW_69

    Nuge’s days are numbered due to the cap, most likely, but trading him under these conditions is foolish. The oilers should be looking at handing him a year of soft minutes next year to pump his numbers and then trade him. Sell high, not low.